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Cardinal calls on population to "abandon" the dominant logic of self and reach out to eachother.  This is the "key" of dialogue "in the family" and in "social and national life".  The government must implement an economic and financial recovery plan, targeting "smuggling".  Support for struggling teachers and pursuing the goal of "justice in truth" against torture and violence.

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At the Angelus, Pope Francis explains that "the fire" that Jesus came to ignite, pushes disciples "to abandon every attitude of laziness, apathy, indifference".  Christianity has spread "overcoming every division between individuals, social categories, peoples and nations".  It is urgent to live in "adoration of God" and in the "willingness to serve others".  One cannot "combine Christian life and worldliness", "superstitious practices" and "a hostile attitude to one's neighbor".

 

| 18/08/2019
| VATICAN

The ship had been seized since 4 July.  Yesterday the Supreme Court ordered the release, ignoring the warning from the United States.  The release could also mean onward passage for the British tanker stopped by the Pasdaran in the Strait of Hormuz.  Iranian minister:  acts of "piracy" by the US.

 

| 16/08/2019
| IRAN - UNITED KINGDOM - USA

At the Angelus, Pope Francis explains the words used by Mary in the Magnificat: Magnify and rejoice.  "If we want our life to be happy, God must be placed first, because he alone is great".  Closeness to the peoples of South Asia affected by the monsoons.  The rosaries blessed by the Pope will be distributed to Syrian families.

 

| 15/08/2019
| VATICAN

The appeal is addressed to current President Rouhani and calls for an end to house arrest for Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard.  The petition has gathered 8700 signatures including politicians, journalists, veterans of the war with Iraq.  Reformist leader: the judiciary and the regime must apologize to the victims of 2009 and put an end to the incarcerations.

 

| 14/08/2019
| IRAN

Rosemarie Perez and her 13-year-old son Rohan, born in Israel, repatriated after a brief legal battle.  The boy has never seen the Philippines.  A similar situation to hundreds of other immigrant workers and which worries the Church.  Bishop Marcuzzo: a "very serious" problem, the result of "extreme right" policies to reduce the non-Jewish population.

 

| 13/08/2019
| ISRAEL - PHILIPPINES

In a message published today, the pontiff expresses closeness to all those who have been touched by the tragedy and acknowledges that he does not have "pre-packaged answers". He does however reach out to the people of the city, saying "you are not alone", entrusting to Christ "our questions, our pain, our anger", urging people to look “towards the Madonna della Guardia", and calling for reconstruction in solidarity, together with the Church of Genoa.

| 13/08/2019
| VATICAN - ITALY

Extra-luxury religious tourism is growing in conjunction with the Hajj.  Some rooms also cost $ 1000 a night and for the period of the largest pilgrimage, can see up to $ 25,000 being spent per person.  Structures overlooking the Kaaba in greatest demand.  Analysts and experts speak of a phenomenon linked to religious tourism.

 

 

| 13/08/2019
| SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM

From the leaders of the Iraqi Church the hope of a return of families displaced by ISIS and a strengthening of the reconstruction process.  A "just representation" of Christians in institutions and the goal of "full citizenship".  A conference of young Chaldeans in 2020 and one dedicated to the laity in 2022.

 

| 12/08/2019
| IRAQ

Clashes between faithful and police started yesterday morning, during the Muslim festival of Sacrifice and the Jewish anniversary of Tisha B’Av.  Two arrests, dozens of Palestinians injured and 15 hospitalized.  After an initial ban, the police allowed Jews to enter the holy place.  The Israeli extreme right fuels tensions.

 

| 12/08/2019
| ISRAEL - PALESTINE - GULF

During the Angelus, Pope Francis suggested attitudes to "grasp God’s passage in one's life". Like pilgrims, we must “be ready with clothes tight around the hips” and keep “lights burning” to enlighten with faith "the many ‘nights’ of life". The eternal joy of heaven means that “the servants, that is, us, will no longer serve God, but God himself will put himself at our service." The pontiff cited the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, which "impose limits on the use of force and are aimed at protecting civilians and prisoners in time of war." War and terrorism represent "the great human defeat".

| 11/08/2019
| VATICAN

The new statutes of the Institute for the Works of Religion will be valid for two years ad experimentum. Changes were necessary to adapt them to the needs of the times and use the collaboration and responsibility of experienced lay Catholics.

| 10/08/2019
| VATICAN

US concern is centred on Haifa Port, which will be run by Chinese interests in 2021. In 2018, Beijing has promised US$ 23 billion in loans and aid to Mideast countries and plans to invest another 28 in infrastructure. The Pentagon warns that the region’s countries risk falling into Beijing's orbit.

| 10/08/2019
| ISRAEL – CHINA – UNITED STATES

For the World Resources Institute, Qatar, Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Jordan are among the countries at risk. They use over 80 percent of their total water resources. Prolonged droughts and ever-rising temperatures are compounded by inadequate investment in wastewater reuse. Waste must be limited to avoid a catastrophe.

| 09/08/2019
| QATAR – ASIA
by Nat da Polis

The meeting was cordial and relaxed. Zelensky, who is Jewish, is attentive to Ukrainian expectations, whilst maintaining a certain neutrality vis-à-vis Orthodox issues. Orthodoxy’s 12 Orthodox have not followed Moscow in breaking communion with Constantinople.

| 09/08/2019
| TURKEY – UKRAINE – RUSSIA
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